U7+ Alliance Supports Implementation of Climate Goals

On the occasion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the U7+ Alliance of World Universities issued a statement declaring their commitment to support the implementation of the climate goals. The participating universities considered it their joint responsibility to take the lead in the areas of education, research, and innovation.

On the occasion of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, the U7+ Alliance, an international coalition of university presidents aimed at structuring and advancing the role of universities as global actors across the multilateral agenda, issued a statement declaring their commitment to support the implementation of the climate goals. The presidents of 29 universities from 12 countries, including Professor Thomas Puhl, President of the University of Mannheim, said that the Alliance recognizes that climate change is a global challenge presenting serious threats to the environment, human health, security, and economic stability. The participating universities considered it therefore their joint responsibility to address these challenges by leading the way in education, research, and innovation.

“Universities are of particular importance, but they also have a responsibility,” said Professor Thomas Puhl. “We work at the interface of different disciplines and generations, are internationally networked, and have the necessary scientific knowledge. That is why we can and must focus on achieving the climate goals and empower our students to meet future challenges.”

The signatories reaffirmed their commitment to two actions already agreed upon at the inaugural U7+ Summit in Paris in 2019: First, they aim to ensure that all students have access to courses related to sustainability, climate, and biodiversity. Secondly, the members of the Alliance committed themselves to working to reduce university-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The University of Mannheim is taking action in various areas to achieve these goals: Sustainability is being established as a central topic in the range of courses offered by the European University ENGAGE.EU. With the new Vice President for Sustainability and Information Provision and the working group on sustainability, new structures have been established within the university to anchor the topic in the long term. Furthermore, a survey of university members is currently being carried out to determine the university's carbon footprint. The results will be used to develop a university-wide climate strategy.


The full statement from the U7+ Alliance can be viewed at the following link: https://www.northwestern.edu/u7secretariat/news/u7+-statement-on-climate-change-and-sustainability.html

The list of signatories can be accessed here: https://www.northwestern.edu/u7secretariat/news/u7+-statement-on-climate-change-and-sustainability-signatories.html